VanessaHoye asks:

I have a student who is ED and SLD. He uses attention getting behaviors, disrespectful comments. How can I teach with interruption and negative atmosphere?

This particular student has issues with conforming to any classroom setting.  His comments are constant and it makes for a negative instructional atmosphere.  When this student first came to our district, there were allowances made because of the change in every aspect of his school life and personal life.  Now that he has been in the district for a year, expectations are a little higher for him.  We, myself, the student, the school social worker, and the general education teacher, have discussed the expectations with the student and he puts on a 'I don't care' persona.  How can I help this student to advance academically and socially if the time spent with him is like spinning wheels?  We have tried a reward system, goal setting, and intrinsic motivators.  So far, nothing has worked for more than 1/2 the day.  It is so hard to teach the other struggling students who want to be in the classroom and they are getting 'tired and done' with his behaviors. Help is needed.
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school, Special education
> 60 days ago



Nov 29, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I feel your frustration with wanting to be a great teacher to this child, yet the "walls" are making it very difficult.

Every person has something that interests him or her for more than a day but it is tricky to find just the right one!

The School Psychologist may be able to provide an inventory to see what is the best motivators and behavioral systems for this child. Something that will have sustainment and also to explain how motivational systems work (it is much like a roller coaster at the start).

Also, consider a mentor. Sometimes, having someone in your corner who cares, such as through local mentor programs or BIG BROTHERS can make all the difference.

Lastly, retired teachers often make the best in house volunteers who can help motivate this young student and also coach/mentor him. Their patience often outweighs that of a daily teacher as it is much easier to handle one child versus a classroom full.

Hope these suggestions help you. Good luck!

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